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Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Hardy M. Cook
Peer Reviewed

Venus and Adonis (Quarto 1, 1592-3)


I haue bene wooed as I intreat thee now,
Euen by the sterne, and direfull god of warre,
VVhose sinowie necke in battell nere did bow,
100VVho conquers where he comes in euerie iarre,
Yet hath he bene my captiue, and my slaue,
And begd for that which thou vnaskt shalt haue.
Ouer my Altars hath he hong his launce,
His battred shield, his vncontrolled crest,
105And for my sake hath learnd to sport, and daunce,
To toy, to wanton, dallie, smile, and iest,
Scorning his churlish drumme, and ensigne red,
Making my armes his field, his tent my bed.
Thus he that ouer-ruld, I ouer-swayed,
110Leading him prisoner in a red rose chaine,
Strong-temperd steele his stronger strength obayed.
Yet was he seruile to my coy disdaine,
Oh be not proud, nor brag not of thy might,
For maistring her that foyld the god of fight.
115Touch but my lips with those faire lips of thine,
Though mine be not so faire, yet are they red,
The kisse shalbe thine owne as well as mine,
VVhat seest thou in the ground? hold vp thy head,
Looke in mine ey-bals, there thy beautie lyes,
120Then why not lips on lips, since eyes in eyes?
Art thou asham'd to kisse? then winke againe,
And I will winke, so shall the day seeme night.
Loue keepes his reuels where there are but twaine:
Be bold to play, our sport is not in sight,
125These blew-veind violets whereon we leane,
Neuer can blab, nor know not what we meane.